Have we mentioned that Getty, one of the largest stock image services, is making all of their content free to use without a watermark through their embedding system? Pretty exciting, I know. We were pleased to add them to our source list for ways to source royalty-free images for the web. You’ll notice that they’re at the bottom of our list for now, and for good reason.
1. Getty is reserving the rights for ads and changing the visual structure of embedding the images.That means that, potentially, what you embed on your site one day could be ad-stamped or generally different the next. Okay for a personal blog? Of course. Best choice for evergreen content on a company site? No siree, ma’am.
2. They can remove the images. Which means potential big, gaping holes in your site in the future…which means that if they don’t continue this service, either the quality of your content is going to degrade overtime, or you’re going to be spending a lot of time checking your images.
3. The embedding tech they use right now is an iFrame, and from a technical standpoint? iFrames are a little weird and don’t always play nice with the other girls and boys.
4. Getty has the power. They have every right to remove content, and the power differential this can create isn’t necessarily something you want to deal with. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but bear in mind that they could hypothetically use it to jerk you around.
5. This endeavor is still experimental. Getty could pull the plug on the entire thing, and if you rely on it overly much, the sudden loss of the photos could make your older content look bad.
6. The legal side is a little tricky. The project is directed to non-commerical blog use, not commerical websites, so you should be careful of using it on your general website. Any legal wonks in the audience? We’ve got space for a guest post if you want to break this down for the masses.
But let’s not be too negative. This move doesn’t have the internet excited for nothing.
1. Pretty soon WordPress will likely have one-line placement of Getty images. (It’s just wordpress.com right now, and we have hopes that owner-hosted installs will be following soon.)
2.The possibilities for high-quality content just blew wide open. Especially for personal blogs where maintaining consistent content over time isn’t critical to presenting a brand.
3. Did we mention it’s free? FREE, I tell you. We may be polished pros now, but we remember our ramen noodle days and the ray of sunshine free anything brought to our days.
But don’t take our analysis at face value. Some smart folks have put down their thoughts on the issue too.